for Sunday, January 23, 2011
As we listen to the readings for this Sunday, we can become deeply aware
that Jesus had some kind of charisma about him. We don't know if he had
met any of these people before. If they are all from the same area, it is
likely that he had met them. Nevertheless, to ask people to follow you and
have them immediately drop what they were doing and go after you says so
much about the force or charisma of Jesus' personality.
Another point that comes to us clearly is that Jesus is fulfilling the
prophecies of the Jewish Scriptures and the authors of the Christian
Scriptures take the effort seriously of pointing out these connections. In
this time after Christmas and after the Baptism of the Lord, it is
important that we ourselves see and understand Jesus as the fulfillment of
We are the people who walk in the darkness of this world, yet who look for
the light of Jesus Christ. We are those who have seen light rise out of
darkness and who know that what God promised through our ancestors in the
faith is fulfilled in Jesus and in our own time.
Jesus invites us to repent, just as John the Baptist did. Repenting is
very different from feeling badly about ourselves. Repenting is about
changing the direction of our lives. That does not mean that we can change
directions once and for all and without any problems. Change for some
people is more or less instantaneous and total. For a lot of us, however,
it is the work of a lifetime. We must get up every morning and strive to
live God's will in our lives. It is not always easy and sometimes it seems
impossible. Yet, every day we must strive again to be faithful. This is
true repentance and we are invited to live that way.
Jesus invites us not only to repent but to follow Him. We can see that
changing our lives must mean, ultimately, following Him. There is no other
way. There is no other truth. And there is no other life worth living.
Readings of the day:
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: